To measure the goodness of life

To measure the goodness of life by its delights and pleasures and safety is to apply a false standard. The abundant life does not consist of a glut of luxury. It does not make itself content with commercially produced pleasure, the nightclub idea of what is a good time, mistaking it for joy and happiness. On the contrary, obedience to law, respect for others, mastery of self, joy in service--these constitute the abundant life.
Thomas S. Monson, "In Quest of the Abundant Life", Ensign, Mar. 1988, 2

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Marshmellow Cream

Also Known As Mountain Peak Frosting and Royal Mountain Frosting,
This is cheap, easy, and impressive to most (who don't know the secret).

4 Egg whites
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

1. In a small saucepan, dissolve and boil the water and sugar until you reach firm ball (abt. 250 F or until a sample of the syrup creates a firm ball in cold water).

2. While the syrup boils, whip the egg whites in a large bowl (I love Kitchen Aid Mixers with a whisk attachment, but you can do this with an electric beater as well) to a stiff peak.

3. On a high speed, whisk the syrup into the egg whites by pouring a thin stream into the bowl as you whisk. The heat will cook the eggs, and the high speed will ensure even cooking (no egg or candy clumps) and a glossy finish.

And walah! Marshmellow cream you can frost with or make fudge with or top pies with. Enjoy!

p.s. Some recipes add in 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, or elaborate on the simply syrup to be 3/4 c. carol syrup (corn syrup) with 1/3c. water and 2/3 c sugar.

Butternut Squash

This gorgeous gourd is cheap, huge, and plentiful throughout the next two months.
This nutty flavor pairs well with apples, carrots, potatoes, and anything you'd put pumpkin in. To start out the (return of) fall, here's two recipes (variations) I made up this weekend.
We went to market yesterday and picked up a gourd for $1.75. We cut away the hard skin, quartered it, tossed it in olive oil, and roasted it at 350F for 1 hr (until fork tender). It warmed up our home and filled it with this cozy, nutty aroma. So worth it.

Saturday Dinner: Savory Butternut-Apple Bisque
A bisque is a hot, creamy soup that was blended.

1 Tb. butter
1 small onion
3 chopped carrots

Heat til dissolved (just before boiling):
2 cup. water
2 Tb. bouillon, chicken or vegi
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. sage, dried and powdered
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place root vegetables and broth into blender and puree with:
8 oz butternut squash, roasted and chopped ( abt. 1/2 gourd, chunks the size of two closed fists or 1 -1 1/2 lbs)
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 tsp. salt and black pepper

Serve hot with optional garnish or sides: sour cream, creme leche, chives, apples, wheat crackers and mozzarella (or any mild cheese), peas, butternut crostinis.
Store covered in fridge for 4 days.

Ginger Butternut-Chocolate Chip Muffins
(the lighter cousin to pumpkin-chocolate chip)
Mix thoroughly:
2 eggs
8 oz (1 lb) roasted butternut squash
1 1/2 cup white gran. sugar
2 Tb. vanilla
1 1/4 cup. canola oil ( or you can do half oil and half plain yogurt)
1 Tbl. ginger powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
Sift together and add gradually to sugar/butternut mix:
4 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder.
Whip till fluffy.
Fold in
4 oz (1 1/2 cup or half a bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pour into GREASED muffin tins, 3/4 full each cup. Bake until brown tips (abt. 8-12 min.) at 350F. Cool in pan. Enjoy!
*these are deliciously moist and will stay uncovered a few days on the counter top.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Plum Torte

Plums are in season! One the easiest (and cheapest) desserts to make is a plum torte. I baked this one this morning from the New York Times by Marian Burros. The caption read:

Because of reader demand, this recipe was published in one form or another in The New York Times almost every year between 1983 and 1995, when the then editor of the food section told me to tell my readers it was the last year it would be published, and if they lost it, it was too bad. She suggested they cut it out, laminate it, and put it on the refrigerator door.

Read More

Plum Torte Cake!
This is one of my favorite fall favorites. If you don't have a spring form pan, oil and coat with sugar and cinnamon a loaf pan for plum torte cake. ohhh.

Oct. 5- Oct. 11

A Fresh Market Place
99 cent/lb New Crop Apples
$4 coupon for Dessert Deal: ice cream, brownies, and whipped topping for $4.
WF gran. white sugar 5 lbs. $2.99 with store coupon

69 cent/3pk active dry yeast (GREAT DEAL)
cho. chip $1.77/bag
4 for $5 brown and powdered sugar
$4.88 10 lb. white gran. sugar
2 for $3 large can pumpkin puree
4 for $5 sweetened condensed mile
99 cent: spary oil, pie crusts, Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mixes, swiss miss hot chocolate packs, coconut milk, marshmallow cream, betty crocker fruit snacks,

Aurgurson Farm's Gluten Free mixes and Lecithin Powder (see store add for details)

A Month of Easy Dinners -- RealSimple

RealSimple is a great source for practical and fast dinners that are nutritious and delicious. View their latest month's listing for FREE at:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Flavors

Below are some great (and easy) fall Recipes from Epicurious is a site compiled by restaurateurs and chefs as a cache site of recipes with ratings. It's free and it's a great resource to look up food combinations you already have under their search tab (example: chicken sage rice) with pictures, tips, and time frames.

Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Sage Crostini - a great lunch or appetizer
Pan Roasted Stilton Chicken with Apples - be sure you have a pan that you can sear and roast in, like a Calaphon pan, i.e. no plastic or wooden handles
Stuffed Rice Balls - Italian technique, fired rice-covered deliciousness
Rosemary Roasted Turkey with Gravy -- great with those whole chickens on sale


Deals Oct.3-8th

Cache Valley Farmer's Market, Merlin Olsen Sat. 9am-1pm
Appenzell Eggs: free range, pure and fresh eggs! Bring in your empty carton and get 25 cents off your carton. We buy the small or spotted eggs for $1.75. So good! They also have great prices on chicken (and soon to be turkey and rabbit).
Basil: $1/bag or $5 a grocery bag (pesto)
Tomatoes: $7/10 lbs.
Peaches: $2/bag
Watermelon/Cantaloupe: sometimes free... $1 melon
Onions: 4 for $1
Beets, carrots, chard: $1/bundle
Fresh Greens: $1-2 bag
Apples, pears: $1-3 bag (wide variety)
Pumpkins: $1-4 gourd
Squash: 5 for $1
Beans: $2/bag
...And don't forget Mary's gorgeous flowers! $3-$5 a bouquet (or state your budget and she'll make a bouquet for you).

Case Lots Sales are in Full swing!

WF Canned Beans, Corn, and Mixed Vegetables: 49 cent/can
SpagehettiO's 2 for $1
Western Family Pineapple 98 cent/can
WF 25 lb. Flour $7.49
WF 25 lb. White Granulated Sugar $12.99
WF Brown and Powdered Sugar 4 for $5
WF Table Salt 44 cent/canister
WF 20lb Rice $9.99
Dried Egg Mix or Powdered Eggs 36 oz. $12.99 (it's hard to find a good egg substitute for shelf stable items; this is the best out there -- and it's safe to eat raw, i.e. edible cookie dough and cake batter)
WF Canned Applesauce 59 cent/can
WF Canned Anaheim Chillies 2 for $1
80 oz. Clover Honey $10.99 (Be sure to check and see if it is 100% honey; it should last indefinitely, but will crystallize. If this happens, then simply heat the honey in a warm - not boiling- saucepan on low heat)
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks - buy 4 get a voucher for $4 off Paper Coupon(99 cent ea.)

58cent/lb. Broc. or Cauli (lowest price, can be Ziploc frozen for 18 mon.)
WF Mac&Cheese 39 cent/box
WF Frozen Vegi 16 ox 58 cent/bag (lowest price!)
$3.99 Purex Laundry Detergent (all machines incl. HE) 28 oz crystal/72 oz. liquid
*best bleach is still LA Totally Awesome Bleach for $1 at the Dollar Tree

A Fresh Market Place
99 cent: Kikoman Soy, Powdered Sugar (CHEAPEST PRICE OF THE SEASON), American Beauty Dried Pasta
$1.69 Dole Spinach Package
89 cent/lb. Valencia Oranges
49 cent/lb Yellow Onions
case lot sales will be announced Tuesday, Oct.4
99 cent 8oz cream cheese
88cent ShurSaving Whipped Topping 8oz tub
2 for $5 10lb. Idaho Potato Sacks
69 cent SurSaving Aluminum Foil
4 for $1 Onion Soup Mix
case lot sales will be announced Tuesday, Oct.4
99cent/lb Gala Apples
99 cent/lb chicken (thighs, breasts, or legs or whole chicken)
Kroger Butter 2 for $5 16oz boxes
$3.99 72 oz All laundry detergent
BOGO Free Holiday Card
BOGO 1/2 off all Board Games